‘Seinfeld’s Most Prolific Director Names His Five Favorite Episodes

Andy Ackerman directed 87 episodes of ‘Seinfeld’ — here are the ones he loves the most
‘Seinfeld’s Most Prolific Director Names His Five Favorite Episodes

Beginning with the second episode of Seinfeld and continuing until the end of Season Five, legendary TV director Tom Cherones helmed a whopping 78 episodes of the show, a number that was seemingly impossible to top. Yet the director who followed in Cherones’ footsteps did exactly that. At the beginning of Season Six, Andy Ackerman took over as the show’s regular director, and by the time the series had wrapped, he had been behind the camera for an astounding 87 episodes. 

And so, we recently asked Ackerman if he could name his five favorites. While he struggled to narrow it down given the prolific number of episodes he was involved in, these were the five he gave us, in no particular order…

‘The Fatigues’

“Jerry Stiller was a joy to work with, as was Estelle Harris,” Ackerman tells me. “Any scenes with them were fantastic. A favorite that comes to mind is ‘The Fatigues,’ where we do a flashback to the Korean War. Jerry Stiller was wonderful in that.”

‘The Yada Yada’

‘The Yada Yada’ was probably one of the funniest scripts in terms of me personally laughing,” Ackerman says. “One scene in particular I couldn’t stop laughing at was Jerry in the confessional booth. I still laugh about that. I also got a kick out of Robert Wagner and Jill St. John being Mickey’s parents. And anything with Michael Richards and Danny Woodburn was fun to do, especially when they physically started to get angry with one another. The two of them would just go for it, and it was always a joy.”

‘The Bizarro Jerry’

“The guys we got to play the Bizarros were perfect,” says Ackerman. “Tim DeKay made a great anti-Jerry who was compassionate, caring and tender-hearted. It was a script that allowed me to do some fun stuff visually, too. In pre-production, figuring out how to do Bizarro Jerry’s backwards apartment was especially fun. Then there’s the street scene where the two camps meet for the face off.”

‘The Betrayal’

“I liked the unique challenge of ‘The Betrayal’ and the cleverness of the backwards story device,” explains Ackerman. “It was nothing close to what I’d ever done before script-wise, in terms of its uniqueness. I remember seeing the Harold Pinter play that the episode is based on when I was in college and thinking what a cool play it was. Never in my mind did I ever think I’d be able to direct something like that comedically.”

‘The Rye’

“‘The Rye’ was another big production show,” recalls Ackerman. “I loved all the storylines, and I loved the insanity of the marble rye and going to Susan’s parents. I also loved the whole Elaine storyline with the sax player oral sex storyline.”

“This was the seventh season, and it was one of the episodes where I started to be able to merge more of a single-camera look into the show. I wanted to make Seinfeld more filmic looking as opposed to your normal proscenium four-camera sitcom, and ‘The Rye’ gave me that opportunity with all the street stuff and Jerry snatching the rye from the old lady and all the stuff with trying to get the rye up into the window with the fishing line — we went to another film lot altogether to shoot that. Plus, there was Kramer with his horse and cab. I was thrilled with how it came out.”

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